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Museum opens educational opportunities to students

Oct. 26, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The Huntington Museum of Art's hands-off policy for art installations was far from the minds of students from Dunlow Elementary School in Wayne County, who took a hand-on approach during an activity-filled day there Wednesday.

About 100 students from Pre-K to fifth grade had a full run of the museum, where they learned about nature and basic art principles like shapes and the color wheel and were led through the museum on guided tours with museum docents, said Cindy Dearborn, museum and schools coordinator.

She said the museum provides a unique teaching tool that benefits students and teachers alike.

"The museum is all about education and bringing art to all of our students," said Dearborn. "There are ways for them to learn inside and outside of the museum. Some schools no longer have art programs, which is why it can be nice to bring them here to explore."

Dunlow Elementary has its own art program, and students from there were using every opportunity to apply in the museum all of the art principles and techniques they learned in school said Dunlow Principal Chanda Perry.

"It's a great experience for the kids at every grade level," said Perry. "It's a great opportunity for the kids because what they are doing here helps them make connections with what they're learning in the classroom. There are a variety of things for them to experience, and they are exposed to different types of art and historical items."

That experience also was beneficial to about 75 first-grade students from Buffalo Elementary, who visited the museum Friday.

The museum is open to public school tours, which are completely free for schools, said Dearborn.

In fact, she said the museum recently wrapped up a tour series with third-grade classrooms from throughout Cabell County, and coordinators are gearing up for a fourth-grade touring series. Students from high schools in Mason County also are set to visit the museum in a series of field trips in the coming weeks.

"We have to support students in what they are doing in their educational careers," said Dearborn. "We'll do anything we can to support them coming here to visit."

For more information about educational opportunities at the Huntington Museum of Art, visit www.hmoa.org.

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